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Advocate Hari Shankar Jain files complaint against Asaduddin Owaisi for saying ‘Jai Palestine’: Here is what articles 102 and 103 say, and how Owaisi could have broken it

Owaisi’s remarks have triggered an outrage over an Indian MP raising slogans hailing another nation in the Indian parliament. This has raised questions about potential disciplinary actions, including disqualification from Parliament.

Amidst the controversy over the “Jai Palestine” slogan raised by AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi in the Lok Sabha after taking the oath, senior advocate Hari Shankar Jain has filed a complaint against Owaisi seeking his disqualification as an MP.

Taking to X on 25th June, Hari Shankar Jain’s son and lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain informed that a complaint has been lodged against Owaisi in terms of articles 102 and 103 of the constitution.

“A complaint has been filed before the President of India against Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi in terms of article 102 and 103 of the constitution of india by Mr. Hari Shankar Jain seeking his disqualification as member of parliament,” Jain posted.

What articles 102 and 103 of the Indian Constitution say

Owaisi’s remarks have triggered an outrage over an Indian MP raising slogans hailing another nation in the Indian parliament. This has raised questions about potential disciplinary actions, including disqualification from Parliament.

Notably, Article 102 of the Indian constitution states rules pertaining to the disqualification of a Member of Parliament.

Clause 1: This article deals with the disqualifications for membership of either house of Parliament. It states that a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament if:

  • He holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State, other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder.
  • He is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court.

(c) He is an undischarged insolvent.

(d) He is not a citizen of India, or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State, or is under any acknowledgment of allegiance or adherence to a foreign State.

(e) He is so disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament.

Clause 2: A person shall be disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament if he is so disqualified under the Tenth Schedule.

Notably, the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution also known as the “Anti-Defection Law,” was added by the 52nd Amendment Act in 1985. Its primary purpose is to combat political defections by legislators, which can undermine the stability of governments. It contains Provisions as to disqualification on grounds of defection, exemptions and powers of the Chairman/Speaker of the House in this regard.

Asaduddin Owaisi’s pro-Palestine remarks can be taken into consideration under Article 102 (4) for demonstrating his allegiance or adherence to a foreign State “Palestine”.

“For the purposes of this clause, a person shall not be deemed to hold an office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State by reason only that he is a Minister either for the Union or for such State. A person shall be disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament if he is so disqualified under the Tenth Schedule,” the constitution states.

The rules regarding decisions on questions pertaining to the disqualification of an MP are stated in Article 103 of the Constitution. Here is what clauses 1 and 2 of this Article state:

  • Clause 1: This article states that if any question arises as to whether a member of either House of Parliament has become subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in Article 102, the question shall be referred to the President of India, whose decision shall be final.
  • Clause 2: Before giving any decision on such a question, the President shall obtain the opinion of the Election Commission of India and act according to such opinion.

The controversy erupted on Tuesday when AIMIM MP from Hyderabad, Asaduddin Owaisi took the oath as a Member of Parliament and raised the ‘Jai Palestine’ [hail Palestine] slogan inside the Lok Sabha. After taking the oath, Owaisi said, “Jai Bhim, Jai Meem, Jai Telangana, Jai Palestine”. Asaduddin Owaisi expressed solidarity with Palestine at a time when the territory is engaged in a violent conflict with Israel after the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas launched a brutal attack on Israeli civilians in October last year.

While defending his action, Owaisi asserted that there is no clause in the Constitution prohibiting him from chanting “Jai Palestine”. However, now advocate Hari Shankar Jain has lodged a complaint against Owaisi under the above-discussed sections of the constitution.

Asaduddin Owaisi’s act of raising the “Jai Palestine” slogan after taking his oath is seen as a violation of parliamentary rules. It exemplifies a form of political grandstanding that detracts from the dignity of the parliamentary process. It must be recalled that the same Owaisi had raised strong objections to raising Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai slogans. If Owaisi’s action is considered a serious breach of conduct, it could trigger proceedings under Articles 102 and 103. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha could refer the matter to the President, who, after consulting the Election Commission, could decide on the disqualification.

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